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Mississippi CISO Has a New Title, But the Same Job

CISO, or data services director? The Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services recently updated its website, a source told Government Technology, resulting in department officials having two titles.

The Mississippi state Capitol building.
Mississippi State Capitol (Pieter van de Sande/Unsplash)
Chief information security officer, or data services director? The Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services website listed Jay White, the department’s current CISO, as data services director last Friday. However, when asked to confirm which title is correct, a department spokesperson said both — but one title holds a little more weight than the other. 

“One title is used in an official capacity, and the other is used as a functional title,” Michele Blocker, the department’s chief administrative officer, said.

The new title is a result of the department’s executive director, David Johnson, beginning a project to re-work the department’s website, resulting in department officials receiving new functional titles.

“The functional titles are different, but Jay still has the same position and the same responsibilities,” Blocker said. “He has not changed or switched to a new position.”

As CISO, White and his team focus on providing resources to improve the state’s enterprise network’s cybersecurity posture for state government operations and have developed and maintained Mississippi’s Enterprise Security Policy.

Some of his other duties include managing core and perimeter defense systems for the state’s enterprise network and collaborating with state agencies to improve Mississippi’s enterprise-wide information security approach.  

“By working together to establish a common methodology, we can ensure state agencies have appropriate information security controls and can have confidence those controls are implemented in a cost-effective manner,” White previously told Government Technology about his role as CISO. “Improving the enterprise-wide approach to information security demonstrates due diligence to the citizens and businesses who rely on government services.”

Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University, and more than five years of experience in the print and digital news industry.
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